French celebrities, including comedian Gad Elmaleh and TV presenter Sophie Davant, took part in the event which was broadcast live on the France 2 television channel and involved all the country’s state-owned channels for the first time.
Since its debut in 1987, the event has funded a number of medical advances into the cause of genetic diseases. In 1990, it helped create the Généthon laboratory which produced the first human genone map.
Christian Cottet, head of the French muscular dystrophy association, AFM, described the result of the fundraising event as “magnificent”. It follows two years of a reduction in donations.
“This result is even more remarkable given the financial difficulties French people are facing because of the economic crisis,” he said.